The government has launched the registration of farmers and 500,000 vulnerable people who will benefit from various government programmes.
Deputy President (DP) Rigathi Gachagua, speaking on Friday during the launch of phase two of the farmers registration and vulnerable groups under the Inua Jamii safety net programme at the Kenya school of government, said that through this launch they are opening a new page to fulfill the government’s resolve of improving lives and livelihoods of Kenyans.
“I wish to commend the National Government Administration Officers for their dedication, which in the first quarter of this year, enabled us register over 5 million farmers across the country. Consequently, we have issued cheaper fertilizer to our farmers, which will ultimately lower the cost of living,” said Gachagua.
The DP explained that besides facilitating further distribution of subsidized fertilizer, the second phase of registration will fill gaps of the first rapid exercise by capturing more data. This will inform policy and other strategic interventions across the various value chains of production.
“The Ruto Administration is very clear that Agriculture, in addition to enhancing national food security, is a source of employment and wealth generation as underscored by our plan on manufacturing,” he explained.
The DP said that the data they obtain will help them map and locate farmers via GPS and understand their specific needs and priorities under the varied subsectors.
“This is how we will create lasting strategic support structures tailored to the various value chains from production to consumption,” he said.
Gachagua added that small-scale farming is at the heart of the Bottom-Up Transformation Agenda, which emphasizes investing and building an interlinked sustainable food system.
He said that this is in line with the National 10-year Plan of the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy of boosting production and value addition across the subsectors for resilience and higher incomes.
“In the face of Climate Change, we are not only triggering transitioning from traditional ways of farming, but also adoption of digital and climate smart agriculture,” said Gachagua.
On the registration of vulnerable people in society the DP said, “In April 2023, during the Kenya Social Protection Conference, President Ruto committed to extending the reach of the Inua Jamii Safety Net Programme from 1.23 million to 2.5 million beneficiaries.”
“To start off, today we are launching the registration of 500,000 beneficiaries under the Inua Jamii Programme. The actual registration starts from September 1, 2023,” said Gachagua.
He said that this will expand the cash transfer programme, which has been in place since 2004 from the current 1.23 million to 1.73 beneficiaries across the country in a march towards their target of 2.5 million and beyond in phases.
“Under this phase, we will treat with priority, persons aged 70 years and above, while strategically assigning numbers for Orphans and Vulnerable Children and Persons with Severe Disabilities, based on population and poverty indexes,” said the DP.
He explained that the dependency ratio as of 2022 was at 75.7pc for people younger than 15 years and older than 64 years.
“This initiative will reduce the dependency burden by promoting financial security for these vulnerable groups. As per the President’s directive, we will keep to the plan of disbursement of the funds before Government employees are paid,” said Gachagua.
He explained that they are also fast-tracking the establishment of the Social Assistance Fund, which will create an avenue for more funding from different sources apart from the Exchequer.
The Fund will increase the safety net to support the expansion of the programme to cover more vulnerable beneficiaries.